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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 13:24 April 14, 2016

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.

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(6th LD) Ruling party fails to win parliamentary majority

SEOUL -- South Korea's ruling Saenuri Party suffered a resounding defeat in Wednesday's general elections, losing a parliamentary majority amid public backlash against factional infighting laid bare in its candidate nomination process.

The party won only 122 out of 300 seats up for grabs, according to the watchdog National Election Commission. It marked the first time in 16 years that a ruling party has failed to win a parliamentary majority.

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(LEAD) Saenuri Party leader Kim Moo-sung offers to step down over election debacle

SEOUL -- Saenuri Party leader Rep. Kim Moo-sung offered to step down on Thursday, taking responsibility for a crushing defeat in Wednesday's elections seen as a crucial litmus test of voter sentiment ahead of next year's presidential election.

"I will resign as the party leader to take responsibility for the resounding defeat in the general elections for the 20th National Assembly," he said during a ceremony marking the disbandment of the party's election campaign committee.

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(2nd LD) Voter turnout in parliamentary elections hovers below 60 pct

SEOUL -- Just less than 60 percent of South Korean voters cast their ballots to elect new lawmakers, the national election watchdog said Thursday.

More than 24.4 million out of over 42.1 million, or 58. percent, went to 13,837 polling stations across the country to elect a new 300-member National Assembly on Wednesday, said the National Election Commission (NEC).

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(LEAD) N. Korea deploys Musudan missile for possible launch around birthday event

SEOUL -- North Korea has deployed one or two Musudan mid-range ballistic missiles to near the eastern port city of Wonsan for a possible launch to mark its founding father's birthday this week, government sources said Thursday.

"North Korea has been detected to have deployed a Musudan missile(s) in the vicinity of Wonsan's Hodo Peninsula," one source told Yonhap News Agency.

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S. Korea to lift sunken ferry next month

SEJONG -- South Korea's maritime ministry said Thursday that it will start to hoist a passenger ship next month that sank two years ago and complete it before the end of July.

The 6,825-ton ship, the Sewol, sank off the country's west coast on April 16 in 2014 while en route to the southern resort island of Jeju.

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(LEAD) S. Korean novelist Han Kang shortlisted for 2016 Man Booker Int'l Prize

SEOUL -- South Korean fiction writer Han Kang has been shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize.

Han's "The Vegetarian," translated by Deborah Smith, is among the six books contending for the 2016 prize, the organizer announced on its website Thursday.

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(2nd LD) Mariners' Lee Dae-ho belts walk-off home run

SEOUL -- Lee Dae-ho of the Seattle Mariners belted a walk-off home run Wednesday for his second long ball of the season.

Lee launched a two-run blast in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field in Seattle, lifting the M's to a 4-2 victory.

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(Yonhap Feature) At KCON Japan, decades-old flame for Korean culture rekindled

CHIBA, Japan -- For many South Koreans, it's hard to understand why anyone would listen to K-pop so religiously without understanding a single word of its lyrics. Such self-doubt is what inspired many dire predictions about the future of "hallyu," the worldwide popularity of Korean culture dating back to the 1990s, with doomsayers forecasting its end every year, only to be disproved by the trend's unexpected growth time and again.

Pessimists may look no further than KCON Japan to see where things actually stand for this decades-old phenomenon. Hundreds of people formed a snaking queue an hour before the world's largest K-pop festival opened in this city east of Tokyo on Saturday. These are the people hallyu doubters have repeatedly accused of losing interest in BigBang, 2PM and the like. And yet, they have come back for more, a year after the event was first held in Japan.

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(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. take first step in implementation of nuclear energy accord

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States on Thursday took their first step in implementing a bilateral nuclear energy accord that opens a pathway for the Asian ally to develop key technologies and ensure a secure supply of nuclear fuel.

After more than four years of negotiations, the two sides struck a deal last April to revise their 1974 nuclear cooperation pact in a way that reflects South Korea's growing status in the global atomic power industry.
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